Friends and beer. Who could think of a better combination? A few days ago, I stumbled upon a bottle of “Bière De L’Amitié” at Lukens Liquers in Dunedin, FL. Believe it or not, I was actually looking for Italian microbrews (they do have a couple). My hunt for Italian micros is a story in itself. But instead, I found this stuffed in between bottles on the shelf.
At first, I thought it was simply just another Belgian Ale (yes, I am familiar with St. Feuillien). Until something special caught my eye. The words “Green Flash Brewing Co” on the label. Green Flash brews, perhaps, one of the best IPA’s I have had – Green Flash West Coast IPA. So, now I was interested and also a bit confused. Green Flash is not distributed down here in sunny Florida. Could it possibly be the Green Flash that I know and love? A quick Google search on my phone revealed the answer . . . via Beernews.org:
(Vista, CA) – During a recent twelve day Great Belgium Beer Tour, brewer’s from Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego County, California and Brasserie St. Feuillien of Le Roeulx, Belgium teamed up to produce the first-ever collaboration ale between American and Belgian family-owned breweries. The beer will be called Bière De L’Amitié, or Friendship Brew, and will be released in the United States in June 2010.
Read more here.
Yes, it was! I was a Green Flash beer. I had to have it. And have I did (well, actually I am drinking it right now).
Now, a little more information on the beer itself via the Green Flash website:
Bière De L’Amitié is a Blond Belgian Strong Ale, brewed with St. Feuillien’s traditional yeast and secret spices. For a Green Flash-style modern twist, rye and wheat malts were added to the mash and American Amarillo hops used in a late boiling kettle addition. Then the beer was dry-hopped with more Amarillo for even more hop flavor, aroma and zest. The ABV is 9.5%. The beer will be available in 750ml. cork-finished bottles, and on draught.
Some initial thoughts . . .
***DISCLAIMER*** I am not a lover of Belgian Ales. There are only a select few that I like and buy more than once.
I like this beer I really do. It is very easy to drink and goes down smooth. You definitely do not know that you are drinking a 9.5 % ABV beer – the alcohol is well hidden. The beer has a nice aroma and a spicy, hoppy bite with a bit of alcohol on the nose. However, the yeast – I just can’t get past the yeast strain used. It seems a bit sour which to me, is simply not a desirable quality. The sourness seems to linger. Other then that, I love everything else about this Ale particularly the driving force behind it which is the collaboration between two of the greatest breweries in the World. Would I buy it again? Probably not. Do I suggest that you try it? Absolutely yes.
I do look forward to more offerings such as this. Until then . .